Create a Juniper Bonsai Garden

Follow these easy steps to practice the ancient art of bonsai.

Photo By: Photo by Heidi Geldhauser/Design by Lindsay Coletta

Photo By: Photo by Heidi Geldhauser/Design by Lindsay Coletta

Photo By: Photo by Heidi Geldhauser/Design by Lindsay Coletta

Photo By: Photo by Heidi Geldhauser/Design by Lindsay Coletta

Photo By: Photo by Heidi Geldhauser/Design by Lindsay Coletta

Photo By: Photo by Heidi Geldhauser/Design by Lindsay Coletta

Photo By: Photo by Heidi Geldhauser/Design by Lindsay Coletta

Photo By: Photo by Heidi Geldhauser/Design by Lindsay Coletta

Photo By: Photo by Heidi Geldhauser/Design by Lindsay Coletta

Photo By: Photo by Heidi Geldhauser/Design by Lindsay Coletta

Photo By: Photo by Heidi Geldhauser/Design by Lindsay Coletta

Photo By: Photo by Heidi Geldhauser/Design by Lindsay Coletta

Photo By: Photo by Heidi Geldhauser/Design by Lindsay Coletta

Photo By: Photo by Heidi Geldhauser/Design by Lindsay Coletta

Photo By: Photo by Heidi Geldhauser/Design by Lindsay Coletta

Photo By: Photo by Heidi Geldhauser/Design by Lindsay Coletta

Plant a Juniper Bonsai Garden

Bonsai is the Japanese art of growing and shaping miniature trees in a container that's said to have been practiced for centuries. You can start your own bonsai garden in a matter of minutes. Keep reading to see what you'll need to get started.

Juniper Bonsai Tree

Juniper is one of the most popular choices for bonsai trees. This juniper I purchased at a local nursery was already pruned and had great shape. Junipers desire a fair amount of good sunlight. They usually are best outdoors but will do fine in shorter periods inside. With them being a hearty outdoor plant they are great on a patio or on an outdoor dining room table. 

Creeping Fig

Look for a miniature creeping fig pot at your nursery—a 1- to 4-inch pot should work well.

Two Small Potted Plants

Browse your garden center for two additional small potted plants (1- to 3-inch pots will be ideal depending on the size of your container) to add to your bonsai garden. Make sure your plant choices have similar watering requirements.

Pretty Ceramic Pot

This rectangle blue pot from the nursery will work well.

Potting Soil

Choose a good, rich container soil (not garden soil) to help your tiny garden thrive.

Pebbles

This is a selection of jade pebbles, but you can choose any color you prefer.

River Rocks

In addition to pebbles, you'll need cream or white river rocks.

Step 1: Fill Container With Soil

Take your chosen container and began to fill with soil. Fill soil about 5 inches deep. This also depends on the size of your container. If your container is larger or deeper, you will want to put a little more soil. Most pots do well about a third of the way full.

Step 2: Plant the Tree

Next take your bonsai juniper and plant into the pot choosing one corner area. Pat firmly around the base of the juniper to ensure the plant is secure. Be sure you have a small bamboo stake on hand in case you need one, the weight of the branches may weigh the tree down. Most small trees and plants of this sort usually come with a stake. In the case of your juniper being top heavy, take your stake and place it into the soil next to the trunk of the juniper and then securely tie it off.

Step 3: Plant the Creeping Fig

Next plant mini creeping fig around the base of your juniper.

Step 4: Add More Plants

On the opposite corner and side, begin planting your two mini potted plants. You want to fill in your pot, but not overcrowd it with plants.

Step 5: Create a Pebble Path

In the center, begin making your "path" with the jade pebbles. This path should be diagonal to one corner of the container, going through the garden.

Step 6: Add the River Rocks

Then take your larger pebbles and place them around your smaller plants. This adds extra texture and acts as an anchor.

Finished Bonsai Garden

Your garden is complete. They make great gifts—you can always print a little instruction care card to include with your bonsai garden.

Bonsai Care

Juniper bonsai care is much like caring for a normal plant.They need to be watered regularly—check to see if the top inch or two of the soil is dry. Always check to make sure your foliage is healthy and prune when needed to shape. Clip away any areas that look dead or unhealthy. This helps prevent any decay or disease. Fertilize and feed during and throughout the growing season; don't fertilize during winter months.